“Over and over and over and over and over,” goes the Hot Chip song that is repeated several times throughout this production. It sums up the general premise of the play: a terrible day that culminates in a bad birthday party for a friend is repeated over and over until best mates Joy (Kate Goodfellow) and Elizabeth (Louise Hoare) are finally honest with each other. The title of the piece also highlights the central theme – “tacenda” is an archaic term referring to things better left unsaid; the opposite of “agenda”. It’s not the most original premise but it is well-executed and, most importantly, the drama’s repetitive structure does not get boring. In fact, this is a hugely relatable show for anyone who has ever felt the struggles of living with your closest companions. It captures the mood of the moment for many Millennials, especially when Elizabeth says, “I feel empty, I feel like I’m missing something important”. The production doesn’t try to solve this feeling of emptiness, but it does end with a successful party and cake.
The performance is an hour in length, which seems like a perfect amount of time – the audience may not want to see the day repeated any more than that. Vicki Baron’s script is a funny and insightful social comedy on the life and struggles of young working women in London. There is an interesting mix of physical theatre, devised storytelling and humour, with a great soundtrack. A personal favourite is the tube scene, accompanied by Hot Chip’s Over and Over.
The three-person cast is impressive. Joel Gatehouse is brilliant at switching from unbearably patronising characters to the lovable Joel, whose birthday party ends the day. Goodfellow and Hoare both get stronger as the play progresses, but it feels as though this parallels their character development as they became more honest with themselves and others. There is audience interaction, but it’s not forced, and it strikes a good balance of making us feel included rather than embarrassed and singled out. A bit like the Hot Chip song that becomes its anthem, this quirky and honest play is worth watching over and over. The venue is another reason to see Tacenda: it adds character to any performance when you can hear the tube rumbling overhead.
Tacenda is at Brick Hall from 20th until 24th February 2019. For further information or to book visit the show’s festival page here.
Read more reviews from our Vault Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Vault Festival website here.
Watch the trailer for Tacenda here: